Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (MSOSW)
With 21 teachers and over 400 student participants, Going Green! MSOSW seeks to increase knowledge of standby power/Vampire Energy’s environmental toll by training teachers and students to measure the power consumption of appliances using meters.
The project aims at helping middle school students understand the relationship between energy, economics, and climate change by monitoring home-energy consumption. Students use energy-monitoring equipment to assess the amount of stand-by power consumed by their home appliances and entertainment devices when these units are powered off. Service-Learning is the theoretical foundation underlying the project, which is based on a student empowerment model that values their contributions to solve problems. The project seeks to investigate the necessary conditions to expand learning opportunities and outcomes from a previous project with sixth graders in new learning environments with diverse ethnic groups, rural areas, alternative schools, and different climate zones. The scale-up plan (Dede, 2006) addresses depth (deep belief change), sustainability (maintaining the innovation over time), spread (diffusion of the innovation to a large number of classrooms), shift in reform ownership (comes to be owned and maintained by the local school), and evolution (project revision by a reflective community of practice over time). To accomplish its goals, the University of North Texas partners with Numedeon Inc. to provide curriculum development services through Whyville, a learning-based virtual environment about the science and mathematics of energy. The setting of the project is 24 middle schools in seven states (Maine, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Hawaii).